I picked up The Secret World via Steam this past weekend. It was on sale and they recently switched to a non-membership model so I figured I’d take a chance and see what it was all about. It takes place in modern times but in a version of the world where “everything is true” - all those conspiracy theories you hear about.
I was surprisingly confused by the game in my first several hours of playing. I’ve played a number of MMOs but for some reason The Secret World didn’t seem to present gameplay in a clear manner. And not until I discovered that I had inadvertently accepted a quest beyond my capability was I able to finally make some progress in the game. It also crashed a lot but I think that was caused by me being on the Windows 8 Preview - I’ve since bought a release copy of Windows 8 and the game seems stabler now.
The game has a lot of cut scenes, including when you accept missions, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a great tool to immerse you in the world but so far, in my experience, it’s 50/50 on wether it’s interesting, immersive dialog or just crazy, abstract babble from an exaggerated NPCs. That might’ve also just been from me choosing The Dragon faction first. I made a new character as part of the Illuminati and things are relatively more sane. The third faction you can choose are The Templars but I haven’t given them a try yet.
The visuals are very nice - models, textures and scenery all look really good. The sound & music are good as well.
I LOVE how the inventory system lets you create and name your own “bags” to keep things in. You start off with 50 slots of inventory and can divide that up however you want. So nice to have bags named “Materials”, “To Sell” and “Quests Items” for organizing things.
It’s also a “classless” system, meaning you can purchase whatever skills and abilities you want and are artificially limited by a class like “Fighter”, “Magic User” or “Thief”.
The game throws a lot of Lore and Achievements at you but it’s a lot of reading without any relevance to what you encounter. At least that’s been my experience so far. The quests do have some interesting components to them such as looking at books/images, interacting with devices and searching for information.
I’ll be working my way through the quests in Kingsmouth, MA to see if I continue to enjoy the game.